Autumn Gardening

I’ve spent a lot of time working out in my yard this year, two or three hours most days, and to my surprise, I’ve discovered that the past couple of weeks, ever since autumn arrived, have been the most enjoyable. The weather has been nice — still and warm, without the strong winds of spring or the scorching temperatures of summer. But more than that, whatever work I have done stays done. In the summer, when I weeded, that wasn’t the end. More weeds came, and the weedy grasses came back with a vengeance. (Admittedly, “vengeance” is a human reaction, not a plant one, but the way those grasses grew it seemed vengeful.) But this fall? Whatever flower bed I cleared out stayed cleared out, and I can actually see an end to these tasks for the year. At the same time, I feel as if I am preparing the soil for new hopes and dreams to flower next year.

Even better, with the weeds and undergrowth cleared out, the bare spots in my garden are obvious, so I know where to plant new flowers. Of course, come spring, those bare spots could fill up with self-planted flowers since I let so many of them go to seed, but for now, I feel as if I have a bit of control. In the summer, the weeds, the sun, and the aggressive plants are in control, but for now, life is taunting me by letting me feel as if I am in charge. Still, whoever or whatever is in charge, it feels good to stroll around my property or sit on a bench and see all that has been accomplished.

Best of all, the autumn flowers are gorgeous, giving my yard a park-like appearance.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

100 Plants Planted

Well, I did it — planted the 100 dayliles I’d ordered. It turns out I needed that many. I really thought I only needed twenty-five for each side of my walkway, and I would have made them work if that’s all I’d ordered, but since one hundred pretty much cost the same as fifty when I took such things as shipping into consideration, I’m especially glad I ordered twice as many. And especially glad that the planting is now done. It took me several days to prepare the soil, so today’s planting took only about three hours. Three hard hours.

They sure doesn’t look pretty, but that’s the way the plants came — yellow and scraggly. With any luck and a bit of water, they ought to green up and maybe even establish themselves before winter comes.

A prettier surprise was the blossom on this mangus echinacea. The tag I’d planted with along with the echinacea had blown away, so I had no idea what the plant was until it bloomed and I was able to look it up. So now I know.

And my zinnias are doing great.

Anyone who plants a garden is planting hopes and dreams and perhaps poems, and this is even more true when it comes to an amateur gardener. Without any extensive knowledge about how to care for plants, one can only hope and dream that one day blossoms will appear.

So, in a couple of years, when the newly-planted daylilies take hold, I hope I will have copious blooms to show you!

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Field of Hopes, Field of Dreams

A friend asked how many holes I’d dug, and what I planted. It was easier to answer here than as a comment, and besides, it brings me one day closer to my goal of 100 continuous days of blogging.

I must have dug a hundred holes. I had more than three hundred bulbs, and approximately three went into each hole (all properly spaced properly). In retrospect, it was silly doing it all in one day because I worked too hard and ended up with a bad cough that is preventing me from doing anything, especially not planting the last ten bulbs (lilies) that I’d planned to put along the fence in the backyard.

I really don’t see how I could have done it differently, though. I wanted the bulbs intermixed so that the yard will look less like a formal garden and more like a splurge of flowers in a field, and so it pretty much all had to be done at the same time.

I planted lots of tulips and daffodils. Anemones. Snowdrops. Crocuses. Dwarf iris. Larkspur. Grape hyacinth. Aconite. Bluebells.

And I planted hopes and dreams. Dreams of a lovely yard come spring. Hope that spring will in fact come, that the bulbs will flower, that I will still be here, that I will continue to find joy in the little (the best!) things of life.

(The photo was taken this morning and shows the frost on my field of hopes and dreams.)

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.